EXCLUSIVE: Comedy’s hot summer continues with another very big commitment for a half-hour project. In a competitive situation with multiple networks bidding, Sony TV/Peter Tolan‘s pitch Irreversible, based on the Israeli series Bilti Hafich, landed at ABC. The network has greenlighted a pilot with a big, seven-figure penalty behind it off of a pitch — a rare feat for any pitch and a first for an Israeli format. In another first for a format originating from the Middle Eastern country, Irreversible will be written solely by the Israeli co-creator of the original series Segahl Avin, who also will direct the U.S. pilot. Avin is executive producing with Fedora’s Tolan and Michael Wimer and Reshet TV, the Israeli broadcaster behind the original series. Irreversible centers on Andy and Sarah, a somewhat eccentric, self-absorbed couple, and their trials and tribulations — most of which they bring upon themselves. Bilti Hafich became an instant hit when it launched in January. It ranks as the No.1 original comedy on Israeli broadcast TV and has already been renewed for a second season. Irreversible reunites ABC, Sony TV and Reshet. Last development season, they teamed to adapt another 2013 Reshet comedy format, Divorce, which went to pilot and remains in contention at ABC after the cast’s options were extended.
Israeli formats continue to be red-hot following the success of Showtime’s Homeland, with multiple pilots and another series, CBS drama Hostages, heading to primetime this fall. Sony TV has two of the biggest commitments for a comedy project so far this season with Irreversible and Marry Me, from David Caspe, which landed a pilot production commitment with a full license fee and series penalty at NBC. Sony TV-based Tolan is executive producing and running Fox’s new drama Rake and co-created and executive produces CBS’ Jim Gaffigan pilot, which is being redeveloped. Avin, Tolan, Wimer, and Reshet TV are repped by CAA.
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